Hosting 101: 3 Top Tips for Working the Room
For any person or company throwing an event, one of the most important host responsibilities is working the room. By “working the room,” I’m referring to the lively chatting, the thoughtful introductions, the greetings, and all the lovely words exchanged that can make or break a guest’s experience. As the host, it’s 100% up to you to make sure everyone feels special for the duration of the event. After three years of Art of the Journey events and a year of client events, I’m starting to learn what really works and I thought I’d share! There are 3 main rules I live by when it comes to making sure every guest feels special at an event.
Greet everyone. You might think this is common sense, but you’d be surprised at the frequency this doesn’t happen! At an intimate event, I admit, it’s easier to greet everyone because you can typically see when someone enters the space. At a larger event where you might not see guests arriving, I’ve learned that it’s extremely useful to have a helper/intern/awesome friend. This helper is in charge of greeting guests and promptly letting the host know who has arrived, at which time the host can make it a point to greet the guest personally. Greeting everyone personally is important because you owe it to them. By being at the event, they’re supporting you, so every guest deserves your attention and a genuine “thank you for coming.”
Keep an eye out for guests who come alone. Some solo attendees will be social butterflies and make themselves comfortable, while some will deeply appreciate you taking the extra step to make a few introductions for them. There are two options here - introduce them to another solo guest, or smartly introduce them to a small group. Try for a group that formed organically and isn’t, for example, a group of 5 besties who are speaking in inside jokes in the corner. Be sure to check in on your solo guest every once in a while. Don’t stress too much if you see them on their own sometimes, as many times introverts are truly still having a lovely time! I used to get so worried and feel bad if I noticed this at Art of the Journey events, but when the quieter folks kept returning to future events I realized they were definitely still enjoying themselves.
Bounce around. Chat up your all guests and have fun! Make sure people have enough drinks, food (offer to get them some, so they can continue their conversations!), answer any questions they may have about the event program, ask about what’s new with them, etc. I’m the first to admit how fun and carried away party conversation is, so be sure not to monopolize all your time with any particular group or guest.
I hope these tidbits help when you host your next event. Do you have favorite “working the room” tips? Leave ‘em in the comments below. Happy hosting!